Monday, July 1, 2013

"31 Hours!!!!" July 1, 2013

I'm alive :) See you all soon!

"Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full."
                                                                                                                             2 John 1:12

Love, ELDER Harding

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Juan de Dios, "Juan of God" June 17, 2013

This  is the biggest mango I've ever seen!

We had transfers in the area!!! I received a new companion named elder Davis from Provo. Hes the exact opposite of what I had in mind of those from Provo, he definitely isn't one of the Peter Priesthood guys. We get along really well. On Friday we were buying a bag of water in the mini store and some guys came over and started bugging us for money. I told him that I couldn't give him money, but he could have my unopened bag of water. He looked at it and refused and kept of asking for money. We told him, "sorry we can't" and he got offended and started saying things about the missionaries and stuff. So after that little incident we turned the corner and I was a little frustrated how that guy only wanted money, even after I offered him water. I started to think, "Why can't we just find someone super excited to learn from us and be a disciple of Christ?!" Then, about a split second after that, a man pulled up on his bike in front of us and asked what church we were from. After talking to him for a bit we asked him his name and he said his name was Juan de Dios. A little "hallelujah" went off in my head and I sort of laughed at myself. "Juan of God"? He told us that he has been looking for a church to go to with his family. We asked him where he lived and he told us he lived in Los Robles, which is 45 min away walking distance. So we put an appointment to find him the next day before he left. We just stared at each other and smiled and knew it was going to be a great family.
So we headed out there the next day and he and his family were there waiting for us. There were 8 people that lived in that adobe house! we were shocked. So we started talking to them and turns out that Juan de Dios and his wife were baptized in the church 15 years ago! His family sort of lost contact with the church after having to move so many times. They have 6 children, one is 22, 15,14,13,10 and the smallest is 5. They started to tell us how grateful they were and that they wanted to get baptized. We went to pick them up on Sunday in the Bishops truck and they all went. Juan told us that when he saw us on Friday, he was about to give in on life. Someone had stolen his work truck and 10,000 Limpiras just before that and he was thinking of selling his house and packing up with his family again, but he saw us and had a really strong urge to talk to us. He recognize the Name Tags and new that we had the way to receive the blessings that he had before so that he could help his family.

"The Zone" June 3, 2013

Elder Garcia, my companion from my first area in Nacaome

This is a picture of us as a zone with the AP Elder Clay in the middle.

This is an unusual place for a baptismal font. It's built right underneth the podium!

Friday, May 24, 2013

"Danli La Concepcion" May 20, 2013

We climbed to the top of this hill to this giant cross here in Danli. It was a really steep climb!
Me with my companion Elder Del La Cruz.
A view of the area of Danli La Concepcion.

"I hate getting my socks wet!" May 20, 2013


I don't know how but this week flew by fast but we had a ton of appointments and Investigators fall through. We've lost contact with a couple of them and the others aren't progressing. The good that come from this week was the fact that we had a baptism!! Our investigator, Isidro, was baptized and married this last weekend. He was married to a member and they have already made plans to go to the temple when he has a year of being a member. He's great, he has been eager to learn each of our appointments and is a fast learner, always wanting to learn more. We also contacted a referral from a member last Sunday and they are also looking positive. Its a complete family and they live right in front of the church. Its always the people that live closest to the church that are most interested in hearing from us.

They say that the summer has ended here and that we are moving into the winter and rainy season. Starting tomorrow they say that we will be having some storms...I hate getting my socks wet! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

"Harding! Mi Favorito!" May 6, 2013

This week it rained on Thursday. We were walking to our appointment and it started to sprinkle a bit. But as soon as it started coming down harder, the power went out! So we were stuck in a torrential downpour with no power. We went to our appointment, but they weren't there. So we walked all the way back to the house. By the time we got back, we were completely soaked. I hate how these storms just come out of nowhere! It was nice and sunny in the afternoon but then turned into a storm. Tegucigalpa was beat up pretty bad. A lot of houses were flooded there. But here in Danli, it didn't do much damage. Our shirts were stained from the rain with a pinkish, red tint it was strange. I did not enjoy getting soaked this time around. my shoes didn't dry out until 2 days later.
The temple was great, it was my first session in Spanish.

The cook family that we eat lunch at has 3 boys and an older daughter. The two younger boys are 4 and 7 years old. Both of them are always coming up to me and asking me if I know how to beat levels and get stars on the Mario Nintendo 64 game they have. When we walk in, they always yell, "Harding! Mi Favorito! I need help finding this star." and they just go off talking about where they need help and ask me if I have beaten it before. The family always laughs when they ask because they always talk about asking me for help when we aren't there. It was a flash back for me and thinking how Max would ask for help on the super Nintendo or Donkey Kong or the wii

Monday, May 6, 2013

"La leche viene del Toro" April 29, 2013


This week went by fast, I cant believe that the transfer is over along with the month! Moving into May! This next month should be successful.

There is a High Councilor in our ward name Victor, he's a cool guy. He's 27 and is a huge help to us. Whenever we need help with teaching someone or trying to get someone ready to go to church, we call him. We went with him to teach and every time he teaches, I always learn something new from what he says. Hes a genius! Whenever we tell him what our investigators need he immediately has a story or a creative way in teaching. I explained to him that they were having some doubts about the Libro de Mormón and he helped us out a ton! He had a lot of interesting facts that got me thinking in many other things. He started out explaining how there is a Formula for everything. He started out by explaining about Chemistry and the different formulas, then he started explaining about day to day life how there are formulas we do everyday like; in order to wake up in time you need to set the alarm and go to bed early. That's the formula to waking up early. To make Cool aid, at water then powder and stir it all up. That's the formula to making Cool aid. Now, the formula to living longer on the Earth? Its right there in the 10 Commandments; "Honor thy Father and thy Mother and thy days upon the land shall be increased"(paraphrased not exact wording). The Formula to heal those that have demons, Prayer and Fasting. Its all there! The world is just full of Formulas! Then he went on the the Libro de Mormon, how can we know that it is the word of God also? In the Introduction it "Invites" all to read and to pray to God with real intent, wanting to know the truth. That's how anyone can know the truth about what we are preaching. They took in well and are willing to read and know for themselves.

He also told us about an experience he had while on his mission in Costa Rica. He was walking in the street with his companion and a woman called them over and she said that she had a dream and there were 2 missionaries that looked just like them with the name tag and ties. She said that in the dream she was talking to her pastor and after finishing their conversation the pastor says, "oh, and sister, the milk comes from the Bull." And in her dream, she stood there shocked and said, "No, the milk comes from Cows, not bulls." And the Pastor repeated it again and said, " No, the milk comes from the Bull." Then others were coming up to her and telling her that the "milk comes from the Bull". So she would keep repeating, "Its not true, it cant be. Milk comes from Cows". Before she knew it, there were thousands there telling her that milk comes from the bulls. She began to doubt herself and ask, "Is it true? I guess milk really does come from bulls" and began to believe what paster and other religious leaders were saying. Then, she said, "I saw two young men come down from a hill in white shirts, ties and the black name tag. They came over and made their way through the crowd and came up and gave me a big hug and whispered in my ear, "Milk comes from the cow". She said that she felt a great relief come over her to know that some one else had the same views as she did that knew the truth. Its just an example of how we need to hold on to what we believe, even if everyone else is telling us different and to hold strong until help comes to testify to you that you are right.

We passed by all of the investigators who had a baptismal date for this week and we taught them so that they could be ready and excited to go to church. When Sunday came around, only one of the families went to church. We passed by for them and walked with them. The other two said that they would go when we called them in the morning, but they never showed up! It was kind of a bummer because they were going to be baptized this weekend but they need to go to church the Sunday before their baptism. We are going to be making changes to those dates.

Our zone won the mission competition of having the most baptisms in the mission so we get to go eat dinner with president as a zone and we are going to the temple tomorrow morning!!!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

"V is for Victory" April 22, 2013

This week was a huge success! We did exchanges with the ZL's so that they could get to know our investigators and help me out in the area. I went with Elder Sears from Ventura, California to go work in our area. We went and visited and worked on exchanges for 2 days with special permission. It was a long hard fight, but we walked the streets of La Concepcion with a V on our chests for VICTORY!! We now have 5 baptisms for the first week of May. It was good to actually know that we have the fruits of our labors after these long 5 weeks. We were the only ones in the zone that didn't have any baptisms, but that all changed!

We also had a Stake activity on Saturday. It was a tour of the Church put on by the Single Adults from the stake. They took in little groups in the waiting room and did a walk through of the Plan of Salvation. At the end of the tour, they had tables outside set up with all of the pamphlets of the Lessions that we give and also Books of Mormon. I was helping out, when all of a sudden they pulled me aside and asked me for some help. They said that they needed a "strong body" to help carry a woman around in the tour that didn't have legs. There were no wheelchairs, so I carried her in my arms the whole time. Holy Smokes! It tested my will to survive! I didn't think I would be able to do it, she was big. We finally made it all the way through and I sat her down in a chair and laid down outside on a bench. People were asking me what happened because my shirt was all wrinkled and untucked with my tie half way undone. I just smiled and said, "nothing, just doing my job" and continued with the tour.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"Let it go...or eat it!" April 15, 2013


I found the Scripture that predicts my experience on a mission: Isaiah 28:20.
"For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it."
Yep, that just about sums it up, haha!!!

This week was a little difficult. We received a referral from some of the Hermanas in the zone to teach a family. We went and they were a little shocked and shy because we had found them so fast. We brought different members from the neighborhood to make them feel comfortable about the change of house that they recently had. They are all great, the dad is always looking to learn more about Christ and his wife and kids all know the new testament pretty well. They have 3 kids, 2 daughters of the age of 17 and 10 and the son is 14. We took the kids to church and they were a little shy, but then all of their friends from school came up and sat with us/them in Sacrament meeting. Then afterwards they all went to class together and they said that they had a great time. I just hope that the parents come next week.

Well the difficult part was that every other appointment of ours fell. We have this really good family and that's about it. Our investigators all need to get divorced and this can take from 3 months or more.

We went to one of our investigator's house (that needs to get divorced and remarried) and they were shoveling out dirt from a little river next to their house. Their dog was going nuts just playing and jumping in the water. If you threw a rock in the water, it would go and try to bring it out again. It would also go hunting for turtles in the river! It brought one out and the family kept it to let it go later...or eat it! It was a little strange, but whatever floats their boat. That dog was having a great time diving in and looking for turtles.

"General Conference" April 8, 2013

Me and President Monson for my very last session of General Conference in the Mission Tegucugalpa, Honduras!
Priesthood going out for grub after the Priesthood session. Elder Sears, Elder Garcia, Elder Boe, me and my companion Elder De La Cruz.

Friday, April 5, 2013

"Torta de Pescado" April 1, 2013

This is the fish that they make torta de pescado out of. Its a bread with pieces of this fish in there and they make a broth out of the rest of the fish. blaaa.

Now, lobster tails is the kind of seafood that is NEVER unappetizing!

"Semana Santa 2013" April 1, 2013

My pet iguana. I named him "GODZILLA"

Wow! Well, this week was Semana Santa or Spring Break. They try to make it a little more connected to the real purpose of Easter by calling it the Holy Week. There was absolutely no one in their houses from Thursday to Sunday. It's definitely on of the hardest weeks there is in Latin America for the missionaries. We had received a list of some of the people that went to the Open House in the Temple, so we went to contact them to see if they would be interested if we visited them. So we started out trying to find them but they were all out of town due to the Semana Santa swimming and taking a vacation and what not. We barely scrapped some old investigators up to teach this week. We have one that we are teaching that is basically a "dry member". She just has husband problems because all he does is drink and has no interest in any help at all. We tried to talk to him and he went and hid in his room. But I called him out and he came to get to know us. Little by little we are trying to teach him also.
On Sunday's we always get invited to eat dinner with a family in the ward. Last week they made us mini hamburgers (which was a first for me) then this week they made us steamed broccoli and chicken! It was the first time that I had eaten broccoli in Honduras. It was so good, I forgot how good it is to eat something besides lettuce or a mango salad. I was enjoying every bite! We got to talking afterwards with them and getting to know them more. The wife started to tell us about her teaching career in music. She started out studying and getting a major in Music (which is quite an accomplishment here). She told us that she applied to a University that was sponsored by a "Certain Religion". At the end of the interview, the headmaster of the university asked her what religion she was and she replied "I'm from the Church of Jesus Christ of Later day Saints" "oh? which is that?" "Oh, I'm a Mormon". The Headmaster got a stern look on her face and gave her back her portfolio and denied her because she was a member. The next person that went in for the interview was from a different religion and wasn't as qualified as the first and they hired her. I'm not saying that she was denied the job for being a member, but I just thought that it was an interesting story. The Member now works at an elementary school as the music teacher. She is in charge of singing nursery songs with the little kindergartners and she told us that she would sing "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" and "Popcorn popping". She said that she would have kids come up and tell her that they sing that in their churches and ask her if she is "Mormon" also. The member laughs and tells them that she is.

"Last area of my Mission" March 25, 2013

Yup, well, I am now officially in my last area of my Mission. Its really strange thinking about that. I feel completely stress free without the responsiblilidad of the ZL position. goodness gracious!! I am now in the Zone Danli and the Barrio of La Concepcion. My new comp is Elder de la Cruz de Mexico. Elder Dockendorf and I were sad because we had such little time together, only one transfer. He calls me every now and then to tell me how stressed he is and how he is jealous that I got bajar-ed. I was just walking around in our area and I just felt completely different. I was trying to figure out what it was and then I realized that I wasn't stressing or worrying about what the zone was doing or if everyone was working. It was just us, the Lord and all of our area to ourselves!

One of my other Mission buddies, Elder Sears (from Ventura, CA) was asked to be one of the new ZL's this transfer in Danli with me. Its his first time as ZL and he always calls me "the Veteran" because I had so much time (10 months) as ZL and he always asks me to help him out and answer all of his questions. Its strange to think that I am the oldest in the Zone...ahh man. We have a new guy named Elder Boe from Napa Valley, CA. This guy is huge!! He's 18 and just a big kid! He's having a little trouble understanding and speaking the language. He likes to hang out with us on P days because he is surrounded by Spanish the other 6 days. Hes a cool kid.

I thought president was going to put me in my last area to die in peace....but I'm back to being a DL.

I ate some fried turtle meat the other day. Its alright...I had a hard time eating it. Just the thought of it being a turtle psyched me out.

Interesting fact: This is the first time in my Mission that the Zone has been over run by Elders from California!! there are 5 of us.

Friday, March 22, 2013

"Tremendo Travieso" March 19, 2013

 This week was great! I'm so glad that I have had the opportunity to be on a mission in this time and place. The Honduras Tegucigalpa Temple was dedicated on Sunday. We took investigators to see the broadcast of the Cultural Night they did on Saturday. It made me sad because I realized how much I am going to actually miss the people, culture and just this country in general. I've only got a little bit more to go, its time to get going and take on all of the work that is waiting for me. I have transfers tomorrow and will be going to my last area! The time has gone by so fast, I cant believe it. I will finally be able to be a normal missionary and do all the work I want in my area without any worries!!! It'll be great, my Zone Leader days are finally over.
We went to go get our haircut last Monday. Elder Dockendorf waited for me while I was getting my haircut and he started talking to the family that owns the shop. They start to talk to him about how red he is and how he needs to wear sun screen. They begin to ask him where is was from and he told them "from Utah". The all start to say, "ahhhh...jewtah, jewtah!" we just started busting up because they couldn't say Utah. So then they point at me and ask him, "He's dark, where is he from? He's from Mexico isn't he? No? California? Really?! But is his dad Mexican? Its just that you are really white and he is dark and has darker hair." I don't know why, but alot of people think that I'm from Mexico. Its not the first time that I've heard that. Thanks Dad for the semi Latin look!

On Friday we went to our cook lady's house to eat lunch. She told us that one of her parrots is sick and showed us. It just looked really sad and in pain. I looked at it's stomach and it was expanded like a balloon! So I started pushing on it to force whatever was in its stomach out. So it started to gag and then vomited all over my hand. I was fine at first, but then this horrible stench just came up and I started gaging also! It was, what looked like, a bunch of sour mango splatted on my hand and it reeked! The cook lady just laughed at me and said that I am "tremendo" and a "travieso". I'm glad that she got a good kick out of it. But now the bird is happy, alive and eating! They just call me the Birdman now.

Okay so as missionaries, there are a couple of movies that we like to show to our investigators called The Restoration. And this movie, I am sure, I have seen over 100 times so far. We were with a member that was giving us dinner and while we were waiting for it the husband goes over and says, "Elders, I've got this great movie that you guys should see. I guarantee that you have never seen it before, I love it." So he starts flipping through all of his movies and I lean over to Elder Dockendorf and say jokingly, "Watch, I bet you it'll be The Restoration! hahaha". A little after the member jumps in surprise "Ah haa! there it is!" and pulls out The Restoration. We played it nice and tried not to crush his dreams and let him put on this "Never before seen" movie for the missionaries.

"This place is a killer!" March 11, 2013

This week started off a little hard. When we went home after emailing our families on Monday, we were surprised to find we didn't have any power. When soon found out that we were the only house with out power and that they had cut our power because supposedly the people that rented before us never paid. We quickly called the owner of the house and she got to work on that really fast. She's a really nice lady, she is always fixing up the house for us so that we are okay. We had to survive 4 nights with out any power, but luckily for us the Lord had blessed us with nice cool weather for those 4 days. It has been the coolest I think I have ever seen in Choluteca. But, the bad news... as soon as we got our power connected the heat came on like none other I have ever experienced here! We were walking to our cook lady's house and by the time we got there, we were just drenched in sweat. This place is a killer.

We are doing great here. The investigators that we have are good, they all have a baptismal date. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

"HIKING, not walking" March 4, 2013

This week has been really long and stressful. I cant believe that its finally all passed. As a Zone Leader, when something goes wrong, we get the blame and cant do anything about it. We had ZL Consejo and President got on us for the missions low baptisms. Well, our zone no, because we lead the mission in baptisms. But everyone was getting chewed out. The stressful part of the week was when we had to go and take out a ton of marriage papers!! Holy smokes, we were in the National Registro everyday asking for papers because the Zone's investigadors were all starting to progress. We have 3 papers to take out from the mountains in Concepcion de Maria... I'm done going though, its too far away. We are sending some Elders from the other zone to get them. We should be having about 4 Weddings and about 9 baptisms in the zone this weekend. I just hope that everything goes well.
I went out to Agua Caliente on Thursday. Its the area furthest away from everything in the mission. I could not believe that I was going out there, I had heard some weird rumors about this place I had to see if they were true or not. We go out there and its really out in the middle of no where, just as bad as Concepcion de Maria. We went out to work in a part of there area that was an hour away hiking. HIKING, not walking. We trekked for what seemed forever! We finally made it to this mountain side where there was no power, water system and no one had any cars or motorcycles. There are trucks that go up to deliver water and food to sell but that's about it. There were quite a few members there I was surprised. We spent the whole afternoon there and hiked back after teaching a couple families. We started to make our way back at about 7:39 and made it to the house at 8;50. The moon wasn't out, so it was really dark. We were good though, we had flashlights. I'm glad that I was able to survive Splits in Agua Caliente because I don't know if I will ever go back! We had to rough it. Just in this area though, they are having 3 weddings next week and 8 baptisms! The people there are ready for the Gospel!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

"Stress and Success" February 26, 2013

This last week was HHHOOOOTTTT!!! Holy cow, its just really humid and the sun is getting alot stronger. Just this week everyone has been saying that I am a lot darker. Choluteca does things to a man. For example: I get a nice tan, we get thin from the food, and we also get ingrown toenails.... oh yes, yesterday I had to go to Tegus to get my nail removed. I was freaking out a bit from some of the stories that I had heard. But we got there and the Mission had the doctor come to the Mission Office. I won't go into details to scare anybody, but it went well. They just numbed me up and then he took it out. He said that it was really sharp and that it must have been hurting, but really it wasn't bothering me that much. The only thing that really bothered me was the fact that I couldn't feel my toe while we were walking. Its the weirdest feeling ever.

Last week was a lot of stress and a lot of success. Our investigating family that has been walking to church (1hour walking) was baptized on Saturday. They were all happy that they were finally baptized.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

"Temple Open House" February 18, 2013

Completion and Open House of the Honduras Tegucigalpa Temple 

Elders Dockendorf (Utah) Roldan (Guatemala), Henriod (Nevada), and I.

"I was ticked!" February 18, 2013

This week blew by really fast. On Wednesday, I had to go to take out marriage papers for the Zone from the forsaken deserted pueblo of Conception de Maria. Okay, I told E. Dockendorf that it was my last time going there. I don't know if I wrote about the last time I went there but it was an adventure. This time I took Elder Herrera with me, we made it up in bus in 3 hours. I had called the registration office the day before to tell them we would be going up there today and they told me that it would be okay. So when we get up there, it was closed! We went to go look for the workers but we couldn't find them! So we called them and the lady told us that they were out of special paper for the registro that we needed. We started to ask her if there was any possible way that we could get her signature for the paper and she said that she wasn't in town. We then asked if we could leave the paper with them to have some other Elders come up and get them and she said that no one was in town and that it would be impossible today. I was ticked! They had told me the day before that they would have everything ready and waiting for us when we came up at this hour. We were heart broken that we had taken a bus for 3 hours just to get nothing. So we started making our way back to the bus to go down and we passed the Registration office again, but the door was open. We went in and the guy told us, "Come in, come in I've been waiting for you two." (Talk about creepy!) So we went in and he said that someone on the street said that we were looking for him to get this paper signed and filled out. And he got it all done for us. Surprisingly they had the special paper also. He called some lady on the phone and told her to get down there to sign the paper so that we could catch the last bus. The lady came down and signed it, but she looked a little embarrassed. So afterwards we told them thanks and before we walked out, I called the number of the lady that was supposedly "out of town". The lady that signed the paper's phone started ringing! I looked at her, flashed a nice smile and said "Have a nice day". That woman lied to me!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

"The word of someone is worth alot" February 11, 2013

This week we had Transfers. Elder Ruiz had been here for 6 months, so it was his turn to leave. This transfer, I received Elder Dockendorf from Utah. This guy is huge, he played football in college. When we walk down the street, I feel like everyone is intimidated by us because we're so big! I'm taller than he is, but he's thicker. Also in transfers we received my ex comp Elder Barrera! We were both excited that we could be together in the zone for his last transfer. It should be fun. The zone is looking great, transfers helped alot. We also have just had a bunch of work fall into our laps. It has been the most busy week that I have had in this area. The family that is coming to church that I mentioned last week is still going and they are excited for the Temple Open House and their baptisms. They're great. He keeps on telling us that they want to go to the temple open house and that he will be going to church forever. And then he said something that I never really noticed before. He said," and that's true! Because the "word" of someone is worth alot, so I will always complete with it."

We also have an investigator that has just been going through the hardest trials right now. He comes to church, but he comes on crutches. Just recently in the past 3 weeks he got into a motorcycle accident and broke his leg. Later, his son was shot and murdered by some gang from Centro, his other son was stabbed various times and is in the hospital recovering. All of these happened within 3 weeks. He has been to church now for 3 weeks since the accident and is getting baptized this weekend. We're excited for him. He's just been through so much .

There is a lot of work to be done this week. We have the open house visit to the Temple on Friday, and we have a bunch of investigators to teach and get ready for the 23rd for their baptism. I'm going to be pooped next week!!
I felt like Bear Grylls on Sunday. When it came to Lunch time, I was scrabbling around thinking of what I could cook. I was just thinking, "What would Bear do?", but then I thought that that probably wasn't the best thing to be thinking because I was not about to catch all of the little frogs and geckos in the house to cook up a little stir fry of them. Luckily I found a packet of spaghetti and I tried out my own little mixture of fried noodles with soy sauce. It turned out to be pretty good! You never know if its a masterpiece until you try it out.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

"Worth the sacrfice" February 4, 2013

This week we made the best out of the 3 days of work we were given due to the ZL Council. We had a bunch of people to visit and teach. With the Open House for the Temple coming up, we have been asked to visit as many people as we can so that they can get this once in a life time chance to get to enter the temple. We were given a ton of referrals from members of people to visit. We took the whole weekend doing exactly that.

These past 2 weeks, we have had a man and his little daughter come to church. No one knew who he was. We got to talking to him and he said that he and his 5yr old daughter have walked an hour to get to church. We asked him how he came to know about the church and he told us that his sister is a member in Tegucigalpa and told him that he needed to go to the church here in Ciudad Nueva. So he figured that he should make the sacrifice to go to church on Sundays. We went out on Friday to go look for his house. We asked around and all people said was, "Tapira? whoa, its dangerous out there, be careful." We explained that we were looking for a man and his family and we knew more or less were it was. We jumped on a bus and when we got there we looked around and it was pure desert and dry trees and brush everywhere. Luckily we found his house on the side of the road where the bus dropped us off. We didn't even have to go into the pueblo, so we were safe. We met his wife and they are both just so humble. I have seen the most prideful people in my life here... but I have also seen the most humble. It was a great feeling when they invited us into their tarp house and we were able to talk to them. They are scared to leave the house with no one watching it, but they said that going to the Temple Open House would be worth the sacrifice. We were shocked by their willingness to sacrifice. They have been waiting for us to pass by for quite some time.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

"Problem solved" January 28, 2013

First time I've driven a car in 18 months!
When there is no water in the church on the day of a baptism, we use the back up plan!
This week we once again got robbed a couple of days of working. We had Interviews with President on Wednesday and Thursday. Interviews took forever! We are one of the biggest zones in the mission with 22 missionaries. After my interview, my companion and I went to go do house checks with Hermana Hernandez. When we walked up to the car, she asked me, "Elder Harding, do you have your drivers license?" I immediately knew what that meant... I was going to drive!! We got in and we went out to check our a couple of the houses that were close by and called it a night. It was so nice to drive again after 18months, it was like a dream come true!

We also had a baptism this weekend. We went to go to fill up the baptismal font and to our surprise, there was no water in the church. We were a little worried, but we called our ward mission leader and he called in some guys that sell water. So the truck came and they connected a huge hose all the way through the building into the font. It was a first for me. I was afraid that the water would be dirty, but it was clean. Problem solved!

Friday, January 25, 2013

"6 months to beauty" January 21, 2013

Well its official... I am starting my "6 months to beauty" work out plan!!

As you can tell, I have taken off the skirt and I am finishing my mission as an Elder (because the sisters only serve 18months). Its been a great 18 months and I am looking forward to all of the work that I have left to do here. Its going to get busy!

This week was really busy. I went with an Elder in the zone to Tegus so that he could get some dental work done. That ate up Tue and Wed. We were able to go eat real food at least! We then had splits on Thursday to help out an area in the zone and I was able to stay and work in our area with Elder Stone. He's a cool guy, he came in the transfer after me. We were busy the whole day running around from appointment to appointment. We were able to contact a referral with the member that gave it to us. They look really positive. Its a mom that lives with her kids and they make tortillas literally every day. Its nuts how much they make. They live right in the middle of 2 different churches. Like, literally their neighbors on both sides are different churches. When we passed by, the mom told us that she has been wanting to go to our church for a long time because she likes the standards that it teaches. So she is really excited to go with her member friend now.

We had a wedding we set up and baptism on Saturday. Everything went fine thank goodness.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

"The time has flown by" January 14, 2013

Yeah tell me about it! Why travel all the way to Tegus with your pet chicken or parrot? I got on the bus to come use internet and I saw a lady with a hen and her baby chicks. I did a double check to see if there were any parrots on the bus before I sat down hahaha.

But, yeah this week nothing exciting really happened. We were able to get more work done though! We put more baptismal dates; one of them a family we are going to complete. The work is going great, I was thinking while I was sitting on the bus and I really am going to miss being on a mission. My only worries being about investigators and if there are chickens and parrots on the same bus as me. But seriously, these past 17 months and 21 days have been amazing and life changing. I just feel like the time has flown by...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

"Screeching and Squawking" January 7, 2013

This week was ZL Consejo week, so that meant that we would be spending a couple days for that. I've got to tell you about the bus ride experience I had.......

So, we get catch the bus from Choluteca to Tegucigalpa and when I get on I saw that the 2 people in front of me had their pets with them: one with her chicken and the other with her green parrot. I knew from personal experiences with chickens and parrots that this wasn't going to turn out well. So we get going and after about 30min the chicken starts to squawk and make noise. The parrot didn't like that, and I could see it was a little annoyed so it started screeching and squawking for no reason. This continued for a good while. The parrot was restless of this chicken and eventually a huge fight broke out and I just sat back in my seat and stared at the ceiling thinking, "Why in the world would you sit next to a chicken when you have a parrot? Don't these people know better?!" So that was the beginning of a long bus right to Tegus.

We had an alright weekend, we're looking for more people to teach and trying to contact referrals. Yep, so that's about as exciting as my week got besides eating good food with President in the Consejo we had! No luck yet, but we're getting there.

6 more fast Sundays!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

"Priesthood blessing of comfort" December 31, 2012

This week was great! It was awesome to hear from you guys on Christmas. The next day, I went on divisions to Los Llanos with Elder Glassett. They had asked us for help with some of their investigadors, so we visited them to see how they were. We first went to a family they were teaching. Elder Glassett had said that the mom really likes to examine what she reads and has a lot of questions. I was excited for that, someone who was reading el Libro de Mormòn and having questions about it. She and the kids had read 3rd Nephi 11 and right after I introduced myself she began with her questions. She was really serious at first and I felt like she was feeling a little contentious. After we answered her questions and began to talk to her more she opened up and was smiling and joking around with us. It was a huge difference! It wasn't until we opened up first that she saw that she could trust us and that we weren't just pure "preachers" and that we were concerned for her and her family. We had a great time with them and they all decided that they wanted to be baptized this month. The mom had a few doubts because she was baptized in a different church, but we explained the difference and how it was okay. We later went to the house of members where their mom wasn't a member. We entered their house and we began to talk to her and I introduced myself. Elder Glassett had told me beforehand that she was really shy, doesn't talk much and that she thinks before she answers. So the plan was to read chapter 10 with her and explain it. But after we read verses 1-6 I strongly felt that we shouldn't read the whole chapter and that we needed to just talk to her. So when she went to take care of her grandson, I told E. Glassett the plan and he said it was alright. So I started us off and just began to talk about verses 3-5 and how God answers our prayers and reveals to us the truth in this life through the Holy Spirit and I began to explain the fruits of the Spirit and how we can recognize our answers. She had told us that she had never felt like she has ever received an answer to her prayer. I then asked her if she has ever felt the prompting of the Spirit to do something and she said no. Then her daughter (recent convert) cuts in and says, "Mom that's not necessarily true. Do you remember when you came to us one day and asked us to pray for you?" We waited for a moment and you can tell that it was sinking in and that she was a little confused on what she was feeling. So we asked her what she was feeling in this time and she said that she has felt a little depressed lately. We continued on to talk to her and try to find out why she was feeling like this so that we could help her,but she didn't know why. We ran out of things to say to her so we sat thinking for a bit. Then I remembered something that Dad told me the day before "Don't be afraid to use your Priesthood. You have it to help you in dangerous situations and to help others..." So then we offered her if she would like a Priesthood Blessing of comfort. E. Glassett gave her a beautiful blessing and we left shortly after. Her daughter was happy that we passed by and said that she was going to talk to her. E. Glassett then made me a delicious dinner of rice and beans and an egg.

"I love the culture here!" December 24, 2012

It's been a busy week, I cant believe that its Christmas!! This last week we has Transfers and I had to take our Third companion to the Mission Home for his Dinner with President. When we got to the Mission Home, it was packed with new Elders! We had received 34 and 2 new Hermanas. There wasn't enough room in Presi's house so us who had dropped off Elders to go home went out and The AP's bought us McDonalds for dinner. After that, we just stayed the night in Tegus for Transfers the next day. We received new elders in our area, so now we had to look for a house for them. They're staying in our house until we get them settled down.

One thing that I don't like about the ZL business is that we hardly have time to work in our area. We had to run so many errands and do so much paperwork for the zone these past 2 weeks. But I guess its good that our zone is so busy getting work in, we will have 4 families baptized as a zone.

Well here, they celebrate Christmas on the 24th, not the 25th. Its kinda weird because no one celebrates the 25th. Its a lot different here. I don't even feel like its Christmas. Everyone is running around and preparing food for the parties today. Its hot, everyone is outside, and they are lighting a bunch of fireworks. I really feel like its the Fourth of July!! We've been invited to eat at everyone's house today, all day!! I'm going to be so full. I love the culture here. They all call up their family and friends and they just have a good time and enjoy everything. They are grateful for every little thing they have.